Amid the change and uncertainty that the year 2020 has brought to our lives, how are we to keep the right mindset this Christmas season? This year many of us have faced sickness from an unknown virus, changes in routines, quarantines, virtual school, job loss, fear, and loss of loved ones. As believers, we want to remove our focus off of these things and celebrate the birth of Jesus with joy.
We can turn to Scripture to see how on the very first Christmas, a very young mother dealt with uncertainty. In the Bible, we learn about the series of difficult circumstances Mary faced:
- Mary, as an unmarried virgin, was expecting a child and faced rejection by her fiancé and culture.
- A census required Mary and Joseph to travel at the very end of her pregnancy.
- She was not at home when she labored to birth her first child.
- When the young couple arrived in Bethlehem, they could not find a place to stay because no room was available in the crowded city.
- After Mary gave birth, the best place she could find to lay her baby was a feeding trough for animals.
During these uncertain circumstances, Jesus was born—His presence entered the earth. The heavens declared the birth of Christ to nearby shepherds, and they hurried to worship Him and share this declaration with Mary and Joseph.
The passage that records this evening of events uses the word amazement to describe the shepherd’s reaction, but read how Luke 2:19 described Mary’s reaction to ALL of the events of Christ’s birth story:
“But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.”
The word treasure in this passage is used as a verb. The Cambridge Dictionary defines the word as “to take great care of something because you love it or consider it very valuable.” Mary knew the value of the gift of Jesus to the earth. Mary treasured all the events because she was able to see God working in the midst of, from a human point of view, what would be considered uncertain events.
Mary treasured that first Christmas because her pondering was set on the presence of Christ and the fulfillment of God’s plan through her life. She was able value God’s plan unfolding in the events despite the circumstances. She did not focus on the uncertainties but on the presence of Jesus—on the baby she delivered who would deliver the peace available to all humankind. He was the answer to a long-awaited promise of hope and love, and Mary knew she was holding a treasure.
What an example the faith of this young Jewish mother is to us this Christmas.
The answer of how to have the right mindset this Christmas season is given to us by Mary. We are to ponder and treasure the presence and coming of Christ. In the midst of the uncertainties of 2020, we are to focus our hearts on the valuable gift of a Savior given to us on that first Christmas morning.
in the Quiver